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Syracuse basketball vs. Pace: Orange open 2012-13 campaign with exhibition

SU opens its 2012-13 season Thursday with an exhibition game against visiting Pace University (7 p.m. on SNY).

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

The Syracuse Orange men's basketball program will open up its 2012-13 season Thursday as Pace University visits the Carrier Dome for an exhibition game (7 p.m. on SNY and Time Warner Sports).

The Orange, the No. 9-ranked team in the nation, are coming off a record-setting 34-victory season that featured SU advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Elite 8 where they lost to the Ohio St. Buckeyes. Pace, a Division II program from Pleasantville, NY, finished last season with a 13-14 overall record and in seventh place in the Northeast-10 Conference.

Though, this contest means nothing when it comes to records it will be a highly-anticipated one for Orange fans that want to see its new-look roster. Three new starters will be on the floor for SU, which will need to replace four key players from last year's squad.

Oddly enough, one of the biggest voids that will need to be filled is the sixth-man role, which was occupied by guard Dion Waiters, who was the fourth-overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. That piece will more than likely be filled by senior forward James Southerland.

The starting spots that will need to be filled are: Fab Melo (center), Kris Joseph (small forward) and Scoop Jardine (point guard).

Those spots will more than likely feature: freshman DaJuan Coleman (center), junior C.J. Fair (small forward) and freshman sophomore Michael Carter-Williams. Senior guard Brandon Triche and power forward Rakeem Christmas will more than likely resume their starting spots.

Other players to look for tonight for SU are: freshman forward Jerami Grant and junior center Baye Keita. Redshirt freshman guard Trevor Cooney will not play in tonight's game as he's recovering from surgery on his tonsils.

The Orange will play their final exhibition game Sunday against Bloomberg (4 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Sports) and will open regular-season play, Nov. 9, against the San Diego St. Aztecs (8 p.m. on Fox Sports Net).